Out of all of the 8 trips I’ve taken to Malawi I would have to say that this last trip was unlike all of the others. Being there for 4 months, I spent the full summer there and could not have dreamed up some of the things that happened.
-“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” – Unknown
Isaiah 25:8-9- “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In the day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us… Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Before we could begin operating the home it was mandatory that got the formal approval from a man whom holds this as his title, “Director of Planning and Development”. In order to do this we had to organize a community sensitization meeting on site.
Nearly 60 local stakeholders in the field of gender based violence around Mponela attended. I was given an opportunity to stand and share the God given vision over this home and also clearly presented the gospel of enemy love. From what we could tell everyone was incredibly honored to have the only home of it’s kind be in their district and hoped in some way to be able to partner with us. Everyone from the Commander and Chief of the Police to the Social Welfare Officer stood in support. Needless to say, I was fighting tears through most of the meeting and we were given the approval we need to begin operating.
Sex Workers Committee Meeting-
We found out that Mponela has a committee of sex workers. These woman are referred to as queens. Since they are regularly abused the police decided they wanted to do wat they could to protect them even though prostitution is technically illegal.
We were offered an incredible opportunity to speak with over 50 of the groups members. Newman shared the heart of When the Saints and our desire to see an end to sexual exploitation. I asked them how they felt God might feel about them and then preached from Luke 7 where a “sinful woman” came to anoint Jesus feet with oil at the house of a religious leader. (Add verse at end?*).
We gave almost a dozen girls the opportunity to stand and share the story of how they got into prostitution and without fail everyone single one of them had very difficult circumstances in their lives that they felt forced them into it. They also all shared the desire to have a way out through something like a loan in order to start their own business. We gave a ride to as many of the girls that could fit in the back of our truck and Newman said they sang these words the whole ride back, “Soon we will be leaving prostitution”.
The Selection of Our First Few Girls-
Toward the end of my time in Malawi we got to the point were we could finally begin the selection process of which girls will be living in the home. We partnered with a police man from the victim support unit and the social welfare official. They provided us with the most recent cases of sexual abuse and we visited the home of two different 14 year old girls.
This was a very sobering time for all of us. We were given the opportunity to pray and speak life over the girls. We invited them to come and visit the home just to make sure they felt comfortable with the idea of moving in. I was absolutely blown away when I found out that the meaning of the first girls name in Chichewa is, “God is with us”. How humbled we were by the Lords favor over us.
We have one more step before we can bring the girls into the home. We have to have our staff and Malawian committee be trained by the Social Welfare office on the policies of the Child Protection Care Act. We are hoping this will be finished in the next few weeks and will then be able to officially open.